Engaging the public with research: a toolkit for higher education and library partnerships
Evidence from the programme shows that working with higher education institutions (HEIs) on public engagement has many benefits for public library services, including:
- Bringing new audiences into library spaces
- Changing perceptions of what libraries offer
- Empowering communities
- Showcasing the value of libraries and the trusted role that they play in communities.
Higher education institutions can also benefit from working with public libraries on public engagement by:
- Broadening reach and building links with communities
- Increasing the relevance of research to the public
- Benefitting from the unique skills of public library staff
- Inspiration, new perspectives and ideas for new research.
Here are some examples of public engagement with research activities carried out in public libraries:
Calderdale Libraries and the University of Manchester did citizen research into air quality in Sowerby Bridge.
Redbridge, Newcastle and Kirklees Libraries partnered with the University of Northumbria on a project to explore ‘death positive’ libraries.
Libraries NI developed a project exploring the importance of hair in identity with Ulster University and community partners Beyond Skin.
Oldham Libraries was approached by Vocal at the University of Manchester to explore experiences of radiotherapy with members of the public.